I Was There, Too!

Every year for Mother’s Day, I make our moms a little photo book of all our best pictures from the year. They have quite a collection built up already, and I have fun seeing the changes in our family from year to year as I work on the photo books.

But I made a sad discovery as I put the albums together this year this year – there were no pictures of me. There were about a million of Everett, of course, with Kaylia coming in as a close second. Ben showed up a healthy number of times, but Anika made less appearances than other years because she’s entered her, “Don’t take a picture of me!!!!” teenager shrieking stage, but I still managed to get a few shots which she considered acceptable. But I’m completely absent in the photo book, because I’m always the one taking the photos.

I love taking photos, and I’m passionate about seeking out the beautiful little moments in our ordinary life, but apparently I have a problem with remembering to include myself. It’s my goal to change this, because someday, when our kids look back on the pictures from when they were little, I want them to see my holding them, caring for them, reading stories to them, in the kitchen cooking,  exercising, or whatever – all the little things they see me doing every day. I guess I want to see that, too, when I’m a little old lady, looking back on my life of lovely memories.

While I was reading to Everett before his nap today, snuggling and singing to him before putting him in his crib, he squirmed around until he was facing me, put his hands on both my cheeks, and said, “I love you, Mommy.” Then he messed up my hair, stroked it back down into place, and said, “You look nice with long hair!” (Which came out more like, “You wook nice wiff wong hair!”) He told me he loved me a few more times, then settled down with his head on my shoulder, and my heart exploded. 🙂 I want to remember all these sweet moments, but I also want the pictures to look back on, and they should include me, too.

We spent the long weekend at the lake, and I made a conscious effort to hand the camera off to someone else sometimes, so there’s proof I was there, as well! When I told my family about what I was doing, Ben argued that he takes lots of pictures of me. This is true, but most of them aren’t good pictures, because Ben delights in catching me at super awkward moments. He takes a million pictures all at once, hoping there will be at least one good one, and giggling at all the terrible ones, and then I have to delete the 999,999 bad pictures, and seriously edit the one decent picture, which is all very time consuming, so I guess I’ve become unmotivated to make it happen. But I have fresh incentive to give him another chance, so we’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, here’s a peak at our first weekend at the lake this spring, and I was there, too!;)

 

We used to drive this stretch every week or two when we were living at camp. It was a pain to be two hours away from civilization in a lot of ways, but Ben and I always had the best time talking on those drives. Those hours in the van are something we look forward to, and the scenery, conversation, and bags of chips make the time pass quickly.:)

My parents spend the winter in Florida, and my older sister’s family lives an hour away from us, so it feels like family gets a bit disconnected during the winter months. Spring means getting back together again regularly, and the long weekend in May is when we always head out to the cabin together. It rained the whole time, so there was a lot of movie watching, game playing, and rock painting.

We celebrated Kaylia’s birthday there, and it was her dream to bake an Angel Food birthday cake with Grandma.

And if the goal is for my kids to look back on pictures of what they see me doing every day, then a picture of me taking pictures is appropriate!

Now I’m curious to hear – do you struggle with capturing your everyday moments, or are you a selfie-loving pro?!

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Down by the River

It was a beautiful afternoon to visit Mennonite Landing this last weekend. I really should stop showing you all how beautiful it is down there by the river, because soon everyone will want to go there, and it will get crowded and unappealing, and become a big tourist spot, and they’ll have to start charging admission, and then our family will have to find a new special place.

Mennonite LandingBut in the meantime, we love going down to this spot by the river! Even though we have such a great time whenever we go, our girls still always complain on the way. They’re convinced that an afternoon at the nearest play structure would be much better than Mennonite Landing, but that is only because they keep forgetting that trees are better than play structures.

A&KParents know best, and we had a great time, like usual.

Kaylia

Kendra and EverettMennonite Landing

Mennonite LandingEverett walking

Everett

leaves

walkingCheck out more pictures from our favorite spot:

Mennonite Landing

What Escape Looks Like

Photos of My Six Year Old

I often fall into thinking that things need to be Planned and Fancy. I didn’t know when I’d have time to take pictures of Kaylia for her 6th birthday – what would she wear? Where would we go?

And then we went to the cabin last weekend, and an hour before leaving for home, there was a small window of time, so I told Kaylia to quickly change into whatever clean clothes she had left, and we ran across the road into the bush.

K

IMG_0774 IMG_0787 IMG_0771 kWe should run into the woods for spontaneous photo shoots more often!:)

Weekend Favorites: At the Lake

I am not a spontaneous person. I like to have everything planned out well in advance. But every once in awhile, things will just suddenly drop into place, and I’ll suddenly realize that spontaneity takes all the stress out of things – if I don’t know about it ahead of time, there’s no time to get stressed! Just rush right in.

That was this weekend.

We had planned to go to my parents’ cabin with them and two of my aunts, but I got sick on Thursday, and the mountains of dirty laundry surrounding me didn’t help me feel any better. Packing for all five of us for the weekend felt extremely overwhelming at that point, so we said we weren’t going.

On Saturday, my mom texted to say that the aunts had brought loads of food, hoping we might still come, and she asked if there was any chance I was feeling better, and we might consider going to the cabin after all, to help eat.

I still wasn’t feeling great, but the laundry was now clean, and lying around at the cabin or lying around at home wouldn’t make much difference, but at least I wouldn’t have to cook at the cabin!

So we threw our stuff together, and got ready to leave in two hours.

cabinThe food was great, and it was good to spend time with family, but Everett’s night was horrendous, and at 4am, I really thought we’d made a huge mistake.

Sunday was so beautiful, however, that in the end, both Ben and I were able to overlook the awful night, and agreed that the spontaneous decision turned out to be a good one.;)

cabinMy highlight was Everett’s first boat ride. I was very curious how it would go – when Anika was a baby, the lifejacket made her scream, and she kept on screaming until the boat started moving. Kaylia, on the other hand, started screaming as soon as the boat started moving, and would wail through every ride until we finally got her used to it.

But Everett decided to show them how it’s done.

EverettHe was totally cool and calm throughout the whole thing. Ben’s reeeeeally hoping he’ll act the same way about waterskiing, since the girls refuse to try it.

AnikaKaylia, like Pocahontas, showed us a thing or two about painting with all the colors of the wind….

KayliaKayliaKayliaShe’s obviously gotten over her fear of boats.

EverettAnd Everett was so happy, you’d never guess he had the worst night of his sleeping career.

EverettAfter a beautiful day of reading, eating, and napping, we headed home.

drivingAnyone else feel like the better the weekend, the harder the Monday?! It’s a bit hard to transition from all that to school and dirty dishes!

 

Long Weekend Favorites

Now it officially feels like spring – we’ve gone to the cabin for the first time.

springMy parents spend the winter in Florida, so spring makes me happy, because they come home, and we get back to the family stuff I love, like going to the cabin.

Much has changed since we were last there! This was our first time bringing Everett. I think he liked it…except for sleeping in his playpen. Poor baby, I never thought to air out the playpen, and it’s been packed away since Kaylia last used it five years ago, so it stank like crazy. It smelled so bad, it made Everett stink all weekend, too! Fortunately, he’s so sweet, it doesn’t really matter what he smells like.;)

Anika and EverettThe weather was mostly cool and rainy, and I had a cold, so there was a lot of relaxing inside.

storiestreeIt was good to go, and it was good to come home, and give my sweet boy a bath!

Weekend Favorites

I had two goals for this weekend: take our first family picture as a family of five, and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

We got the family picture, using the camera timer, and many, many tries!

familyThen we headed outside. Our little blue marshmallow wasn’t sure what to think of sunshine that bright!

Everett

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Kaylia

house

Anika and Everett

Here’s our other family picture – of us as snowmen.;)

snow familyIt was so nice out, our snowmen didn’t even last until evening! Our heads were dropping at a shocking pace, and at one point, Ben looked out the window, and said, “At least Mommy’s bum is still out there.” Um… yes.

And now we’re ready for another week! Happy Monday!

E & K

Everett

Three Months In

I clearly remember the first time the thought crossed my mind that it might be fun to have a son.

We were driving along, listening to a cd, and Steven Curtis Chapman’s son was singing the Veggie Tales song “I Love My Lips”. In the middle of the song, Steven Curtis Chapman “calls” his son, and while they’re talking on the phone, he says to his dad, “I’m in the studio right now, just workin’ on this song.”

And suddenly, the thought flashed through my mind, “We could have a son, and he could play guitar, or maybe drums, and he’d call me, and we could talk on the phone!”

Ben teases me about this, and talks about how we’ll need to have a music room in our basement for when Everett starts playing drums and is in a band. Really, Everett doesn’t need to play guitar or drums, if he doesn’t want to, but I think it would be funny if he did, and my daydream came true!

In the meantime, he’s making many other dreams come true. He’s the sweetest baby, and we all love him like crazy.

EverettI really thought we would be a family of four. I thought we would do the girl thing, and that’s all we would know.

But I love how Everett balances things out. I love having a whole new dimension added to parenting. I love it that even though before he was born, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have him, it’s only taken a short time for everything to change, and now we wonder what we ever did without him.

I love it that our girls are learning what it’s like to have a brother. I love learning what it’s like to have a son. I love watching Ben with Everett.

If Everett is napping while we’re eating supper, I love it that there’s a huge, gaping hole already. We need him with us, otherwise something is just not right!

EverettBefore Everett was born, my sister said, “There’s just something about boys. It’s hard to describe the bond between mothers and sons.” And I smiled and nodded, but really I had no clue.

Some people say gender doesn’t make much difference when a baby is this small, but I disagree. I feel as though everything is different, and it’s amazing. I was so nervous about having a boy, and I couldn’t picture myself having a son, but now that he’s here, he’s just wonderful.:)

Everett and me

New Normal

Our sweet boy is two months old this week.

EverettHe giggles in his sleep, but he will not giggle at Ben, which is driving Ben crazy!!

I’ve been finding it hard to pull out my camera often enough – the days just kind of run away on me! Often, Ben will come home from work, and I’ll still be trying to figure what we’re doing that day…except the day is over. They seem to fly by awfully fast right now…

And this little boy is growing fast, so I want to be sure to capture the smiles and the chubbiness!

toesI’m trying to remind myself to grab my camera throughout the day like I used to, and not be too busy to notice all the little moments – like creating Lego masterpieces, “Picnic School” (meaning it’s done on the floor!) , and family games.:)

Kayliapicnic schoolgamesTwo months of beautiful chaos! I’m torn between thinking the time is going too fast, and being thankful that it is passing, because things are getting easier, and we’re starting to get into a new normal routine.

Anika and EverettWhat did we ever do without him?!

Weekend Favorites

A cold getting passed around our family kept us pretty relaxed this weekend, but by Sunday, I was bored!! Definitely ready to feel better and do something!

Kaylia

supper

game

We played games, built forts, ate veggies, and got some fantastic videos of Ben using his French accent to auction off paintings to the girls while playing “Masterpiece”. I know he wouldn’t want me to post them, but really, if the internet wasn’t having issues today, I totally would! It could be payback for the time we went shopping at Superstore, and he carried a poinsettia around his head the entire time, just to embarrass me. That was the day I figured out being married to Ben would mean learning not getting embarrassed about stuff!! It was a critical turning point for me…

What did  you do with your weekend?